Gooey Chocolate Crater Cake


This cake is not the type that should be judged on presentation. You probably shouldn’t bring it to a party in hopes of impressing people. It is desperately rough looking with big sunken holes- not exactly what one would initially find appealing. BUT! Once I tell you all about this cakes construction and why it looks that way, you will certainly see the appeal.


Think ooey, gooey, chocolate-cream cheese deliciousness! I constructed this recipe based off of Paula Deens’ Volcano Cake- a box chocolate cake mixed with pecans, coconut, and almond joy bars, then dolloped with a cream cheese mixture, baked, and topped with a chocolate glaze. The cream cheese mixture sinks to the bottom of the cake as it bakes, leaving behind holes filled the with warm, gooey mixture (thus the name ‘Volcano Cake’). I took the basic idea of that cake and substituted the glaze recipe with one of my favorites. I also used a homemade cake recipe rather than a boxed cake mix and omitted the pecans, coconut, and candy bars (although you are more than welcome to add those back into the cake). The result was sensational!! If served warm, this cake is just incredible- oozing with a cream cheese mixture tunneling throughout a moist chocolate cake and topped with a decadently rich, gooey chocolate glaze. There is nothing light about this cake.


This is the perfect cake to make/or serve to your child. Not nutrient wise of course… but as far as something fun to make together in the kitchen, this is perfect. Kids love things that are messy and with the craters that develop from the cream mixture, they’ll love this!


Now if you really want this cake to be ubber delicious I suggest using this chocolate cake recipe instead of the one written. I only chose to use the cake recipe given here because of its’ simplicity. It does come out moist, but it is severely lacking in the chocolate flavor department. But with all the other elements in the cake, you can’t notice to badly. Or if you want to make things super simple- use a box chocolate cake mix. For the cream mixture to sink properly you just need to use a recipe that creates a thin batter.


Gooey Chocolate Crater Cake

  • For the Cake:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For the Cream Mixture:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For the Glaze:
  • ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp boiling water
  • 1¼ sticks (5 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tb confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. For the Cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix together until just combined and there are no traces of dry ingredients. Pour all of batter into prepared pan.
  3. For the Cream Mixture: Beat ingredients together with an electric mixer.
  4. Evenly space dollops of cream mixture on top of the cake batter.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  6. For the Glaze: Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on med-high speed, beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
  7. While cake is still hot spread the glaze evenly over the cake (depending on your tastes, you may not use it all).

adapted from Paula Deen, Brown Eyed Baker, and Martha Stewart

Laura is the publisher of Laura’s Sweet Spot- a blog making regular contributions about baking, cooking, and blogging tips!

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